He began as a simple “what do you think about this?” conversation with my wife and sons in the early summer of 2010. I’d always wanted to write and publish my own original comic series, dating back to … well … forever!
My dear mentor, the late George Roussos (of whom I’ve written several times in this blog) once chided me when I told him I’d love to write for MARVEL one day.
“You’re a better writer than to dream of writing for MARVEL,” he told me. “You should be dreaming of writing your OWN characters.”
George and I had a plan, but when he passed in 2000, that plan got put on hold.
After Dogwoods Blush published in 2009, I began work on Dove of War, the second chapter in an ongoing tale I intend to be told in 4-books. While scripting the story of Dove, I was also writing my weekly blog and heavily immersed in Crossing the Line, the true story of my experiences in Iraq from DESERT SHIELD to OIF. Of course, there was also all the other things that come with life as an adult … job, family, yard work, civic and church responsibilities … the works.
As friends began asking when Dove might be published, I knew it was going to take much longer than my initial estimate of October 2010. So I decided that I’d develop a character to act as a “bridge” between Dogwoods and Dove, told in the same universe and continuity, that would give readers a taste of what was coming when Dove of War (now planned for 2012) is published.
“It’ll be easy,” I decided. “A very short story, maybe 25-30 pages, and wrapped up start to finish in 6-months. After bouncing around several themes and ideas, I decided on the premise, then started brain storming names. I settled on Void … “Deacon Void.” I targeted a Halloween 2010 launch on my website and figured it’d be finished and forgotten by the summer of 2011.
My how things change in a year!
Since last Halloween, Void started and stopped due to some issues I had with the artist at the time. I pulled the series down and considered just shelving the idea completely, but a few vocal supporters urged me to bring him back. So I began redeveloping Deacon Void, relaunching him in December 2010 with a series of prologues and kick-starting the new comic series in February 2011. The rest, as they say, is history!
The last year has seen my little concept grow and explode until now, Void has 500+ followers (based on my webpage hits) and 70+ fans on Facebook. He’s pretty much taken on a life of his own! Writing his adventures has become a full-time job (one that I love) and my idea of a complete tale in 25-30 pages is a thing of the past!
Void is now plotted to run 12-issues (an estimated 300+-pages), each issue being 24-27 pages long (issue #1 alone ran 27-pages). All issue plots are finished and we are about to wrap issue #2 and begin issue #3 in December. Each issue also features a full-color, original cover by some of the greatest artists in the comics field today.
Deacon Void has become a major player in the fictional world of adventure and fantasy I call “The Bill Cain Universe (BCU)!” His adventures are being drawn by some of the great legends in the comic industry as well as young talents trying to break in for the first time. I don’t know who is more excited about his success … Void? Or me!
Just who … or WHAT … is Deacon Void? His identity is shrouded in mystery … his face is obscured and he allows no one to touch him … so that question has yet to be answered. But we do know that the name is a fake (his true name remains unknown) and he’s a highly connected private investigator operating within the East End of London amid the shadows of the Tower and on the same streets where Jack the Ripper once trod. He also has the ability to travel into and out of a mysterious “realm of the dead” known only as “the VOID,” but each time he does so, he loses a tiny spark of his life. Why is he doing these things? What’s his purpose? Is he good or evil? These are the questions we’ll find out as the story unfolds.
Void publishes each Tuesday on my webpage. I usually have a back-up feature on Thursdays or a piece of artwork provided by one of my artist friends of Void or some character within his world. The black & white layout is a homage to the classic horror magazines of the 1970s … Eerie, Vampirella, Creepy, etc., and the weekly schedule is a homage to the old Sunday newspaper comic strips I once followed as a child that filled my mind with high adventure and non-stop thrills.
For those of you familiar with my style of writing, then you know that Void is a character surrounded by great tragedy. Don’t say you were not warned!
So now, Void is one-year old and going strong. He’s already expanded well beyond my wildest dreams and I can assure you that the best is yet to come! Writing & publishing a FREE online comic is not easy or inexpensive, but if people enjoy the tale, that’s all I’ve ever wanted.
In the end, when readers see WHO Void actually is and understand his link to the coming Dove of War tale and how integral he is within the “BCU,” I’m betting you’ll love him as much as I do! At least I hope so. I am working on a very SPECIAL event for readers in issue #10! And I am also working on a very special TREAT for the grand finale, issue #12. So get on board now to fully experience it.
If you are not following Void, please click the link below and join the fun! We’d be thrilled to have you “Enter the Void” and wish him a very happy 1st birthday! And be sure to let me know what you think!
Until then, to my friend and continued inspiration, George Roussos, I just want to say, “I’m living the dream, George! Thanks for believing in me!”